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Star-studded Extravaganza to Open 3rd Entertainment Expo
FILMART Exhibitor Numbers Up More than 11 Per Cent Over 2006

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Officiating at the opening ceremony today for the 3rd Entertainment Expo Hong Kong were, left to right: Mr Alan Wong, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's Acting Executive Director, Mr Joseph Wong, Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, and Mr Tony Leung, Hong Kong's Entertainment Ambassador.
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Mr Rafael Hui, Chief Secretary (right) and Mr Tony Leung, Hong Kong's Entertainment Ambassador (left), toast the success of the 3rd Entertainment Expo, which opened this evening with the inaugural Asian Film Awards.

March 20, 2007 - A star-studded gala opening, featuring top international celebrities and directors, kicks off the 3rd Entertainment Expo Hong Kong today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The inaugural Asian Film Awards will serve as the Expo's opening-night programme.

French director Luc Besson, Korean director Park Chan-wook, Korean actors Rain and Lim Su-jeong, Japanese idols Hirosue Ryoko, Abe Hiroshi and Sorimachi Takashi, along with renowned film talent from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, will be in Hong Kong for the glitzy opening.

Officiating at today's ceremony will be Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology Mr Joseph Wong, Acting Executive Director of the TDC Mr Alan Wong, and Hong Kong Entertainment Ambassador Mr Tony Leung.

For the first time, three mega Entertainment Expo events open on the same day: the Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART); the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF); and the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF).

Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), the 11th incarnation of FILMART has attracted 453 exhibitors from 30 countries and regions. Exhibitor numbers are up 11.3 per cent, reflecting increased interest from overseas. This year shows keen exhibitor interest from the Americas (up 26.2 per cent from last year), Europe (up 11.8 per cent), and Asia and Oceania (up 9.5 per cent). Local exhibitors are up 5.6 per cent this year.

FILMART includes some 150 market screenings. New this year are TV World, Locations World and Animation & Digital Entertainment World.

"Locations World features some of the top shooting locations in the world, along with details of tax breaks and related government support," said Mr Raymond Yip, the TDC's Assistant Executive Director. "TV World and Animation & Digital Entertainment World celebrate the convergence of film, music, television and new media," he added.

Mr Yip said the fair this year has become an even more sophisticated platform for financiers, distributors and producers, as it showcases a greater variety of products and post-production technology.

"FILMART is one of the most important film, TV trade and financing gatherings in Asia. Such internationally acclaimed productions as Shaolin Soccer, Infernal Affairs and McDull Prince de la Bun were distributed to the rest of the world through FILMART," said Mr Yip.

"Asian films have increasing influence worldwide, and FILMART has expanded its international portfolio to meet industry demand," he added.

Mr Yip said the TDC is dedicated to promoting Hong Kong film in overseas markets, while building Hong Kong's image as the entertainment industry's regional financing, trading and production hub. "The TDC creates opportunities for the industry by bringing in pools of international producers, financiers and distributors to Hong Kong," he said.

The same-day opening of FILMART, the HKIFF and HAF this year affords more options, according to Mr Yip. "More than attracting international movie stars and directors to Hong Kong, it provides a wider range of movies for distributors, since industry screenings of HKIFF films can be held at the FILMART venue. We can maximise the publicity impact as well as benefits with this win-win strategy," said Mr Yip.

FILMART'S Hong Kong-Asia Screenings (HAS) returns with the latest Asian films. New this year at HAS is Chinese Renaissance, a section featuring 15 Chinese films, including Wang Quanan's Tuya's Marriage, which recently won the Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlinale.

FILMART highlights include:

Locations World: Co-organised with the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority, Locations World counts 38 exhibitors from 17 countries and regions: Hong Kong, Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

TV World: Co-organised with the Hong Kong Televisioners Association (HKTVA), it features the rapidly expanding Hong Kong TV market, as well as digital broadcasting development seminars. TV World includes 88 exhibitors from 17 countries and regions.

Animation & Digital Entertainment World: Highlights include seminars and product parades, as well as the 1st Hong Kong Digital Entertainment Industry Person of the Year Election Awards Presentation Ceremony. Organised by Hong Kong Digital Entertainment Association, Animation & Digital Entertainment World brings 73 exhibitors under one roof.

Equipment & Post-production Services World: With 15 exhibitors, the event provides one-stop help for producers sourcing post-production partners and film equipment.

Seminars: Focusing on film and digital entertainment, seminar topics range from "Is profitability possible for mid-budget Asian movies?" to "Colliding Star Systems: Asian talent management and opportunities for Asia talent in international productions."

Industry Survey: Exhibitors and visitors are interviewed during the event, with a report to be released on the last day of the fair.

Fair Websites
FILMART
http://www.hkfilmart.com/filmart/

(March 20-23)

HKIFF
http://www.hkiff.org.hk

(March 20-April 11)

HAF
http://www.haf.org.hk

(March 20-22)

AFA
http://www.asianfilmawards.org

(March 20)

Media Enquiries
Please contact the TDC's Corporate Communications Department:

Lynne Mulholland
Tel: (852) 2584 4376
Email: lynne.mulholland@tc.org.hk

Beatrice Lam
Tel: (852) 2584 4049
Email: beatrice.hy.lam@tdc.org.hk

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